Telep: Bull City Classic Report

DURHAM, N.C. – The nation's best sophomore was on display at the Bull City Classic and he turned in a good one. Meanwhile, a senior and a junior did battle in the best perimeter matchup of the day.

Tyrone Appleton, G, Harmony Prep: The Prep basically got off the bus and played a basketball game and in doing so, appeared tired. That's where Appleton came in. On a day when star Alex Tyus was slow to get out of the game, Appleton twisted his way into the lane to the tune of 18 points. The high-majors are looking and making decisions on his before Christmas.

Doneal Mack (2006) vs. Tyree Graham (2007): This one was fun. Mack's crew rallied for the 3-point win but only after a Graham buzzer-beater attempt courtesy and offensive rebound rimmed out. Mack is a scorer, born and bred. We credited him with 26 points (11-23 FG) but he was having a pedestrian game until a second half rally in which he buried 4 shots from the right corner of the floor. A rhythm guy, he marries himself to spots on the floor and wears then out when he's hot.

Meanwhile, the youngster Graham was putting in work of his own. The 6-foot-1 shooting guard will be intriguing to the elite mid-major programs and the big dogs will have him on their radar, monitoring his stroke and improvement over the next year. Aside from his efficient 9for-15 from the floor for 26 points, we really liked his toughness defensively –- especially in the first half against Mack – and his ability to make shots at the rim. He's not a blow by you off the drive guy, but he showed more toughness in finishing at the rim. These two guys provided the fireworks and the game was quite entertaining.

Tracy Smith, PF, Mount Zion: The Mighty Warriors would have been bounced for their own event if "Dr. Detroit" hadn't shown up. The Motown native dumped 22 tough points on American Christian and there was no answer for his bullish strength inside. In his two years at Mount Zion, this had to be considered his signature performance. He was like a land grader clearing the way for the win.

Julian Gamble, PF, Southern: A pleasant surprise for the Spartans. This 6-foot-7 big man showed that he can be a horse inside. He made it tough on Statesville's interior guys and there's something to be said for a guy taking charge and delivering a breakout effort. We could have a good mid-major prospect alongside Tyree Graham.

Tyreke Evans, SG, American Christian: When you're No. 1 you go under the microscope a lot and much is asked of you. Sometimes we forget this young man is only a sophomore. Early Against Mount Zion, his jumper was misfiring as he settled for contested fade away jump shots.

Then, his personal rally began in the second half and he poured in 27 points on 7-for-17 from the field and 10-for-12 from the line. His star power is undeniable and for a player his age, he's savvy and unselfish. A lot is asked of him on this squad and a very young team is going to play in numerous spotlight games this year. That means he's got to be at his best all the time and for a kid who doesn't have his driver's license, it can be a tall order. 27 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists against Mount Zion tells us he's up to the task.

Nasir Robinson, F, American Christian: He's 2008's answer to junior Corey Raji. This guy is the definition of kinetic energy. Always in motion and always playing hard, his growth and skill development will ultimately determine his position but for now he's a bring your lunch pail to the office kind of player.

"He might be the most underappreciated guard in America," Harmony Prep coach Travis McAvene said of Tyrone Appleton. Virginia Tech and Washington are on him and if the Huskies ever moved in with an offer would be a strong player. …

Harmony Prep power forward Jon Avery is hearing from Birmingham Southern, Evansville, Southeastern Louisiana and Cleveland State. …

Quin Snyder of Missouri ventured back to his Durham college roots to watch Florida Prep guard Chris Singletary. … East Carolina showed a commitment to junior Tyree Graham as three coaches, including head man Ricky Stokes. … Assistants from ECU, Winthrop and UNC-Wilmington were on hand watching Charis Prep junior Josh Sheets. …

Connecticut dispatched assistant Tom Moore from Maui to watch sophomore Tyreke Evans. ...

Deonta Vaughn has shed some poundage since the summer and his body and shot look better. His coach offered up DePaul, South Florida, Pepperdine and Indiana as potential destinations. …

Darius Sellers of Charis Prep has interest from some high-majors but Liberty, Radford, UNC-Wilmington and Loyola-Chicago seem more realistic. … Pierre Curtis, a guard out of Charis is hearing from James Madision (offer), Colorado and Colorado State. …

Alex Tyus said that Arizona and Kansas are his two favorites right now. Washington, Texas, Miami and North Carolina are some other he likes. …

The best part about Doneal Mack's game is his trigger. He barely needs and inch to get his shot off and he gets it up quickly. …National Christian has a young team. Junior point guard Brian McMichael and sophomore shooting guard Michael Smith are talents. They combined for 49 points in Saturday's loss to Covenant Christian. …

Pierre Curtis of Charis Prep is improved since we've seen him last fall. He's playing more of a creator role and it suits him. We can see the mid-major interest coming his way. …

"I play like I'm 7-foot-8 so it doesn't really matter."

  • Southern's Julian Gamble responding to guys ribbing him about being 6-7 when he calculates himself at 6-9.


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